Breaking Down LSAT Quantity Terminology

Is "some" more than "many"? Is "several" less than "most"? Unravel the intricacies of LSAT quantity terminology.
  • /Reviewed by: Matt Riley
  • Welcome to the next step in your LSAT mastery! While the distinction between “many” and “most” might seem insignificant in everyday life, it is absolutely crucial on the LSAT. This article will shed “some” light on these words to hopefully help you snag “a few” more points in the Logical Reasoning Section.

    What Are LSAT Quantity Terminology Terms?

    LSAT quantity terminology terms are part of what we call logical force – namely, how strong is your statement? We break logical force down further into three different categories.

    Strong Logical Force Terms

    Strong words (e.g. every, all, anyone, any) mean that 100% of the group is included.

    If I say that “All cats are fluffy,” I mean that 100% of the cats in the world are fluffy. We call this a strong statement because it leaves no wiggle room. If 100% of cats are fluffy, there are exactly 0 un-fluffy cats.

    Moderate Logical Force Terms

    Moderate words (e.g. most, majority) mean that over half of the group is included.

    I could say that “Most Studio Ghibli movies are masterpieces,” which would mean that over half of those movies are masterpieces.

    Note: moderate strength can still mean 100%! It could be true that all Studio Ghibli movies are masterpieces (in fact, I would argue that’s true).

    Weak Logical Force Terms

    Weak words (e.g. some, a few) mean that at least one member of the group is included.

    I might say that “Some dogs are cute,” which means that at least one dog is cute. Yet just like moderate words, weak strength can still mean “most,” or even 100%!

    If I say that “Some passport photos are unflattering,” that means at least one passport photo is unflattering. But let’s be real: All passport photos are unflattering. That’s just a truth of life! And on the LSAT, “Some passport photos are unflattering” can absolutely mean that all passport photos are unflattering.

    Another note: “Many” is the same as “some.”  And “several” means “more than two.”

    Wrong answer choices often rely on untrained test takers who mistakenly think that “many” means “most.” Don’t make that mistake.  

    Increase Your LSAT Score 5 Points in 5 Minutes with Logical Force

    LSAT Quantity Terminology Practice

    Let’s apply our newfound knowledge to a question. This one is from Official LSAT PrepTest 140, section 1, question 15 (available via LawHub).

    Greatly exceeding the recommended daily intake of vitamins A and D is dangerous, for they can be toxic at high levels. For some vitamin-fortified foods, each serving, as defined by the manufacturer, has 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of these vitamins. But many people overestimate what counts as a standard serving of vitamin-fortified foods such as cereal, consuming two to three times what the manufacturers define as standard servings.

    Which one of the following is most strongly supported by the information above?

    This is what we call a Soft MBT (Must Be True) question. It’s asking us to take the information we’re given and infer another statement that is almost certain to be true. That means our first task is to understand the information we’re given.

    Further Reading

    🧠 An Introduction to the LSAT Logical Reasoning Section

    💪 Breaking Down LSAT Question Types

    🤔 The FAQs for Soft MBTs: Part 1

    We know that it’s bad to eat too much of vitamins A and D, and “many people” think servings are much larger than they actually are for vitamin-fortified foods. But wait! We know that “many” is the same as “some.”

    So what they’re really saying is that some people might eat too many servings of vitamin-fortified foods, which in turn means that some people might be ingesting too much of vitamins A and D.

    Instead of looking through all the answer choices, we’re going to focus on answer choice (D) to see how crucial quantity terms can be. (D) says, “most people who eat vitamin-fortified foods should not take any vitamin supplements.” But do we know anything about most people who eat vitamin-fortified foods? No – we only know what’s true of some people who eat those foods.

    From the very first word of the answer choice, we can cross (D) off! The correct answer ends up being (B), which says “some people who consume vitamin-fortified foods exceed the recommended daily intake of vitamins A and D.”

    That exactly matches the quantity we’re looking for – the only information we have is about some people, not most or all.

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    Final Thoughts

    Just from one sample question, we can see that quantity terms are crucial when quickly eliminating answer choices. And on a test that’s as aggressively timed as the LSAT, those 15 to 30 seconds you can save will absolutely add up!

    So, just a quick recap:

    • How many is a few? – At least one
    • How many is several? – More than two
    • How many is multiple? – More than two

    Like mastering any skill, mastering logical force and LSAT quantity terminology requires practice, practice, and more practice. You can start by creating a free Blueprint account to access a free practice test, analytics, study planner, video modules, and more.

    Blueprint understands that every LSAT test-taker is unique.  Whether you have the discipline to study on your own with a Self-Paced Course, want to navigate the LSAT with instructors in a Live Course, or prefer one-on-one attention through tutoring, we have the study method that fits your learning style. 

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